Mildred Mary (Hartter) Gillispie passed away at Midland Hospice Care on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Mass of Christian Burial for Mildred will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, April 14, 2014, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Lawrence, KS. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be held 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Sunday, April 13, 2014, at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence with a Rosary at 6:30 p.m.
Mildred was born March 24, 1921, in Sabetha, KS, the daughter of Joseph and Ida (Aeschliman) Hartter. She was united in marriage to James William Gillispie on January 29, 1943, in Chicago, IL. After moves to several cities (due to Jim’s naval service during World War II), Milly and Jim decided to make Lawrence, KS their home in 1947. Thus started the creation of a wonderful home for their beloved children. Milly chose to be a homemaker to her nine children until the youngest started school. Thereafter, she went to work for Evans Auto Supply Store in Lawrence, then after many years Milly worked in food service for Lawrence High School.
Milly was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and the Altar Society. She and her husband were instrumental in the building of the Catholic grade school, supporting Catholic education throughout their entire lives. In addition, Milly was a member of the Amercian Legion Ladies Auxiliary, devoting many evenings to running the concession stand on bingo nights. Until the last few years of her life, she was also an active bridge player with many of her friends. Milly was an avid sports fan; she was an especially active follower and supporter of the Jayhawks and, much to the bewildering dismay of several of her children, the Oakland Raiders.
Milly was preceded in death by her husband who passed away October 5, 1983; her parents; her brother, George Hartter; and her son-in-law, Dennis Brand. Milly is survived by her five sons: Jeff (Jacque), The Woodlands, TX; Jim (Vivian), Belleville, IL; Bill, Baldwin City; Mike (Barbara), Overland Park; and Howard (Mickie), Lawrence, and her four daughters: Maggie Heeter (David), Shawnee; Mary Brand, Lawrence; Cleo Murphy (Tom), Topeka; and Patti Green (Tom), Lawrence. She is also survived by her brother, Earl Hartter (Lavonne), Olathe; 21grandchildren; and 27 great grandchildren and still counting.
Milly was one wonderful, caring and loving wife, mother, grandmother, great- grandmother, and friend. If you can imagine multiple long distance camping vacations with up to nine children in a Ford station wagon, you have some idea of just how devoted, strong-willed and patient Milly was. Only the heart of a natural mother would willingly embrace such challenges as joys to be readily accepted, memories to be savored in later years of reflection. Those outside her family described her as also being kind-hearted, patient, merciful, and just. Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her, understood from experience that she never had a bad word to say about anyone or anything – but also understood that when prompted, she could speak her mind, declare her judgment about an issue. Those who knew her best described her as a joy to know and love.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Mildred’s name to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and Midland Care Hospice and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.